Best Answer

Antisocial personality disorder, also known as sociopathic personality is defined as a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society.

The disorder involves a history of chronic antisocial behavior that begins before the age of 15 and continues into adulthood. The disorder is manifested by a pattern of irresponsible and antisocial behavior as indicated by academic failure, poor job performance, illegal activities, recklessness, and impulsive behavior. Symptoms may include dysphoria, an inability to tolerate boredom, feeling victimized, and a diminished capacity for intimacy.

It's been said, "If they apologize, then they don't really mean it. A sociopath does not feel remorse so you can't get them to be sorry."


One has to have a conscience to "own up to" one's actions and theirdestructiveness, or else the confrontation will be perceived as anattack. This doesn't mean that sociopaths should not be confronted,only that until a way is found to change the way they learn, it won'thave the desired effect.

Sociopaths are the way they are because, from birth onward, the brainof a sociopath stores learning information in a random, chaotic wayinstead of in the usual designated places in the cerebral cortex. Partof this involves lack of crucial neurotransmitters, but as of yet noone knows whether this lack is caused BY the brain abnormality or is the cause OF it. It's probably the former.

Since their information -- including emotional information -- isscattered all over both brain hemispheres, it takes too long for thebrain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process ofsocialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately it fails. (See thebook "Without Conscience" by Robert Hare, PhD.)

Since the entire cerebral cortex of a sociopath is almost never ata normal level of alertness (their waking brain waves resemble thewaves of a normal person in a light sleep, alpha waves), this may bethe crucial deficiency that cripples the developing child's ability todevelop many aspects of the human mind. As the child grows, some of thebasic mental and emotional skills the rest of the world takes so forgranted never develop, and crucial among these is the thing calledconscience. That one never develops at all.

Some people may envy the apparent calm of a sociopath, but theirexistence is misery. They cannot connect with other human beings, andas babies they are so uncomfortable being held that they fight towriggle free of all but the most basic necessary contact. Theirheartbroken parents often blame themselves or the child, never knowingthat what is really wrong with the child is in his or her brain.

Under the almost somnolent calm sociopaths project is a constantsense of restlessness and lack of fulfillment that is nothing other than thebasic need all people have to receive stimulation and support fromothers. But a sociopath has no way of receiving this even if it'soffered. The endless frustration of this, and a discomfort that theyare utterly incapable of articulating or even really understanding, is the source of much of their chronic anger and aggression.

Plus, since they grow up in constant conflict with authority, theyare most often bitterly angry and sometimes violent adults, brittle andcombatative under a thin veneer of charm. Offered friendship, theyappear to respond, but quickly discover that they can get nothing fromit; they see the obvious pleasure of other people in such contact witheach other, and they often seek to "even it up" by stealing what theycan -- material goods, or even human lives. They are constantly toldhow "bad" they are, and by adulthood, most of them believe it. Andbehave accordingly.

Sociopaths rarely feel true happiness. If they do, it is usually inthe condition that some kind of intervention -- such as one of thesmall number of medications made for other conditions that may alsohelp somewhat with theirs -- has taken place, and it will be fleeting.For all their frantic racing around, they are really very dead inside,and this is tragic beyond description. Imagine spending your entirelife trying to get your brain to wake up! And failing. Thousands oftimes.

There are stories of people diagnosed as sociopaths who did improveto some degree, with the most ceaseless and diligent help. But sincethe vast majority of this huge body of people (there are more thanthree hundred million sociopaths on Earth) cannot get that kind ofattention, they turn to abusing those they envy, and often to crime. Itis certainly vengeance: "If I can't have any of this, why should you?"This is the real reason sociopaths lash out at strong and kind people.No matter what they say, they know that inside, they are always emptyand damaged beyond repair.

Only in neuroscience is there hope for these incomplete people. Thekey lies in awakening the brain, which is risky because sociopaths aremuch more prone to seizures than the rest of the population, and that-- an uncontrolled blast of electrical discharge spreading through thebrain and causing violent convulsions -- is likely to be the firstresponse from brain pathways that, after years or even decades ofsilence, are suddenly flooded with impulses. But if the devices ofneurosurgeons can be tweaked to avoid this shock, and all else relatedto this idea is workable, it's feasible that small electronic devicesplanted in the brain (these already exist, but are not yet being usedfor mental illness) could open up a closed connection.

That leaves us with the problem of whether a lifetime of scatteredinformation can ever be set into order. Probably the best that could behoped for would be a kind of retraining -- like what is now done withstroke survivors and head injury patients -- that would be bothintensive and compensatory.

One of the things that would be necessary would be to try to socializethe person whose congenital birth defect made such a thing completelyimpossible before. Whatever intervention is used, be it drugs orcomputer chips or what have you, it would probably -- I'd say certainly-- be excruciating for the patient at first. With no knowledge of howto cope with the emotions the rest of the world has been dealing withall their lives, the recovering sociopath would be rendered asvulnerable as a baby. Which makes sense, because some of the most basicaspects of the human mind would be developing from the primordialstasis in which they had remained since birth!

A person thus treated would never be fully normal, but the humanbrain is amazing in the way it adapts and continues to develop allthrough life. And given the utterly joyless and meaningless existence asociopath leads, any improvement is better than none.

The matter of missing neurotransmitters in a sociopath is, ofcourse, another problem. Would "waking up" the cerebral cortexeventually stimulate production of these? Or would they have to besynthesized? Only time will tell.

Just as science understands that epilepsy is not demonic possession,that people with dissociative conditions are not harboring ghosts ordevils in their bodies, and that depression is not a "deadly sin," itwould and will be able to prove that sociopathy happens for a reasonand that it can be dealt with. Sociopaths do very bad things. Butbranding them all "pure evil" isn't going to help anyone. It's justmore hate.

I have commented elsewhere that the human brain is the greatest newfrontier in many ways. (Although I certainly have no lack of interestin space.) Sociopaths, along with other "hopeless cases" like peoplewith Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, Asperger's, ADD, ADHD,autism, and the schizophrenias, along with more common disorders suchas depression and addiction, and so on, are a mystery, but scientistshave a way of hammering away at mysteries until they unravel them, and,be assured, they are well on their way to the core of this one.

That will be fine by me.

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago
Profile of the SociopathThis website summarizes some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.
  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning

    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

  • Grandiose Sense of Self

    Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

  • Pathological Lying

    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

  • Shallow Emotions

    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

  • Incapacity for Love
  • Need for Stimulation

    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy

    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency

    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability

    Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity

    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle

    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility

    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:

  1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
  2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
  3. Authoritarian
  4. Secretive
  5. Paranoid
  6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
  7. Conventional appearance
  8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
  9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
  10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
  11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
  12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
  13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
  14. Extreme Narcissism and grandiose
  15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

15y ago

A sociopath is someone who cannot empathise with others and who feels no remorse for their actions. The symptoms of it here may explain it better:


This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

11y ago

They can come across as really nice, kind, good hearted people. Sometimes they seem very social, while others are quiet and keep to themselves. Then you have the ones who aren't really a 'high functioning' sociopath, so you'll notice them always getting into trouble. They're really just like other people, except they don't feel things in the same way, and they usually have a lot of secrets they're hiding. Secrets, typically concerning their inner abnormal thoughts. They might try very hard to appear normal, but no matter how hard they try, they're not. They can be funny, giving, moody, charming, etc. And you might never know. But they are a sociopath. They could have strange outbursts, seem irritable, and somehow show a calm exterior, but inside they might be plagued with anxiety, and may have uncotrollable impulses.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

Sociopath or Psychopath {Quote wikipedia on: Hare Psychopaty Checklist} The official stance of the American Psychiatric Association as presented in the DSM-IV-TR is that psychopathy and sociopathy are obsolete synonyms for antisocial personality disorder. The World Health Organization takes a similar stance in its ICD-10 by referring to psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality, asocial personality, and amoral personality as synonyms for dissocial personality disorder. Among laypersons and professionals, there is much confusion about the meanings and differences between psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and the ICD-10 diagnosis, dissocial personality disorder. Follow the links below for a more elaborate answer. My personal views on this subject. To me it stands to question though if this is in fact a malfunction in the human psyche or just a rare psychological trait. As an example I would like to use the animal kingdom, there are hunters as well as there are preys, none of the two is "good" or "evil". Just because a certain state of mind is undesirable to society does not mean it to be a "defect" or "disease". An example of the sociopaths reasoning, (in this case "theft") might be:" As long as I get away with it it's alright", and "if the owner protected his / her stuff better I couldn't have stolen it in the first place". The fact that the owner had to work to buy the item or the possible emotional value is of no value or meaning to the sociopath. Reasoning this way the sociopath concludes it is not their fault but rather the victims fault that the item got stolen. This reasoning and behavior can grow into quite extreme proportions like:" manipulation, (sexual-, emotional-, mental-,) abuse, violence, and ultimately murder". I think that it would be too great a risk to society to just let sociopaths go on through life unchecked, however I would not know of any way to identify and treat a sociopath before something bad happens, which of course doesn't mean there is none.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

10y ago

SOCIOPATHS often appear normal, act normal and are often called white collar sociopaths. They like to get involved in schemes that will pay off but have great risks often involving other people and their money. They are really no one's friend but their own.

Predisposition to violence is varied, they can be impulsive but their behavior is controlled.

They have a tendency to participate in schemes and calculated risks to minimize evidence or exposure and they have a tendency for premeditated crimes with controllable risks, criminal opportunism, fraud, calculated or opportunistic violence

They appear to have superficially normal behaviors in social relationships and ar often social predators.

Suffers from: Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

9y ago

Some signs that a person is a psychopath are that they will not follow through on any plans, and they threaten suicide often. They also will be very unreliable and have no shame.

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What are the characteritics of a sociopath?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

What are 2 characteritics of a thunderstorm?

Loud noise and lightning flashes

What are the common characteritics of the inner planets?

they are small and have rocky surfaces

What is a sentence with the word sociopath?

My older sister is a sociopath.

How do you live with a sociopath?

You don't. Get as far away from a sociopath as you possibly can.

How do you tell someone they are a sociopath?

"You are a sociopath." However, if they truly are, it won't matter to that person.

Should you marry a sociopath?

No, one should never marry a sociopath. Marriage involves trust, and a sociopath by his very nature cannot ever be trusted completely.

What characteritics do tundra animals have?

White or brown fur , grey , brown or black feathers .

How do you deal with a sociopath female?

Just because she is "female" doesnt mean anything. A sociopath is a sociopath and the only way to "deal" with them is to stay as far away as possible.

What are the release dates for Confessions of a Sociopath - 2002?

Confessions of a Sociopath - 2002 was released on: USA: 2002

What not to do if you are involved with a sociopath?

Do nothing to indicate you see them as a sociopath. Find a counselor for them to see regularly, or a psychiatrist .

Was Henry the eighth a sociopath?

No, not a sociopath. He was mentally ill for a period of time which made him vulnerable to disease. this made an infection to the leg. Not a sociopath but many believed he was a mentally scared psycopath

What Are The Characteritics A Person Has To Have To Become or Be A Soldier Or Marine?

Honor, commitment, endurance and the willingness to give of yourself